Sunday, April 03, 2011

Follow Up and Fundraising

Wouldn't you know, the kids did wear us down, sort of. We compromised by letting them sleep in the family room at the back of the house and telling them they'd be moved to their rooms if they weren't asleep by 9:00. Harper and Michael were absolutely giddy at the prospect of camping out. Miraculously, they did fall asleep. Even better? In the morning they woke up and Harper popped in a movie - delaying the waking of the parents. We may have to give in to this kind of camping more often!

Yes, that's Harper's head poking out of a Smurf sleeping bag!

The March of Dimes dress fundraiser was a HUGE success. My friend Liz donated over $400 from the sale of the dresses to our March for Babies team, helping us exceed even our adjusted goal. Since there is nearly a month to go before our walk I plan to continue fundraising (and gently reminding you that it isn't too late to contribute). 

Someone recently asked how we managed to raise so much money. The easy (and not necessarily helpful) answer is that we are blessed with incredibly generous family and friends who support us in a million ways, donating to our March for Babies team being one of them. Here are the other things that I find helpful:

1. Don't be afraid to ask. This is the third-year we've raised money for March for Babies. At the beginning of each year I send out one mass email to pretty much everyone on my contact list asking them to donate. Matt does the same. I feel like one email isn't too intrusive, and easy enough for people to delete if they so choose. In the past if we hadn't quite met our goal and were getting close to the walk date I did send a reminder email.

2. Use social media. I have continuously/shamelessly begged for donations through this blog and through Facebook. I figure those things are easy enough to skim/ignore if you have already donated or don't care to donate. And people don't feel compelled to respond if they can't/don't want to donate the way they might with an email or in-person request.

3. Start early! This year was our earliest start yet. I think starting early helps eliminate a situation in which a person might want to donate but just doesn't get around to it quickly enough. 

4. Make it personal. For several years I agreed to mail out neighborhood envelopes asking for donations for various causes. While I would occasionally get some money back I eventually stopped doing it because the return didn't even seem worth the time it took to address the envelopes. Yet, even in a difficult economy, we've been very successful fundraising for the March of Dimes three years in a row. People close to us understand what we went through when Michael was born and know we feel strongly about the importance of the work done by the March of Dimes. I know that I am more inclined to respond to a donation request when I know WHY the recipient is important to the person asking for money.

5. Create partnerships where possible. The dresses Liz made were a huge help to us this year and she's already agreed to think about doing the same next year, as well as also creating a March of Dimes shirt for little boys to go with the dresses. Another friend makes stamped cards and has offered to sell bundles of them to raise money for our team in 2012. 

How about you? Do you have any terrific fundraising tips? I'm already thinking of next year!


Sara said...

I'm glad the campout was a success! My girls did this at their grandparents' house and raved about it! And I'm so glad to hear that your fundraising has gone so well. I do plan to donate--I split my donation each year between you & Heather Spohr (The Spohrs are Multiplying).

Swistle said...

I love your mass-email idea, because it so greatly reduces the awk/pressure.

Nowheymama said...

Aw, I'm glad they had a sleepover. Yay, sibling bonding.

tracy said...

I LOVE the camping!! Maybe next time we come, all of the kids will be able to do that (and we'll sneak away to one of the bedrooms for a long chat/nap!)
Love you

CARRIE said...

I might have to seriously consider the camping out thing over here too.

Awesome job on the fundraising.

(I def think the personal connection helps. A lady whose son went to N's preschool raises money for the MoD too, and I learned that she had a stillborn daughter before having her sons. Knowing that made me want to donate again and again.)